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U.S. Kids Cover Contest Recognizes Winning Students and Their School's Art Program

The U.S. Kids family of magazines is proud to recognize art teacher Jeanne Hardin of Cedar Bluff Elementary School in Knoxville, TN, and two of her students in the 11th Annual U.S. Kids Cover Contest. Griffin Ahern-Clark won first place in Turtle Magazine for Preschool Kids' Cover Contest, and Samuel Vennix won second place for Humpty Dumpty Magazine. U.S. Kids editor Julia Goodman and art director Jenifer Saulovic traveled to Knoxville to congratulate Griffin and Samuel and to give the boys prizes including art supplies, videos, games, and puzzles. The boys were also responsible for Cedar Bluff's art program receiving two checks, one for $1,500 in honor of Griffin's first-place win, and one for $1,000 for Samuel's second-place win.

Mrs. Hardin, Griffin, and his mother proudly display Griffin's winning cover and the school's check.

Mrs. Hardin, Samuel, Jenifer Saulovic, and Julia Goodman show off Samuel's artwork and the check he won for his school.

Mrs. Hardin, the U.S. Kids staff, and both boys' families aren't the only ones on hand to support them. Fellow classmates eagerly pat Samuel and Griffin on the back and cheer them on with words of congratulations.

Samuel's class gather around Samuel.

Mrs. Hardin is no stranger to the Annual U.S. Kids Cover Contest. She enters her students every year, and, as a testament to her teaching, she has had many past winners. Barbara Frizzle and Jovi Yoshioka were first- and third-place winners in the 9th Annual Cover Contest. Caitlyn Simpson brought a third-place win to Cedar Bluff in the 10th Annual Cover Contest.

Cedar Bluff displays art by past U.S. Kids Cover Contest winners Jovi Yoshioka and Barbara Frizzle in the front office.

Mrs. Hardin has spent the money U.S. Kids donates to her art program with each win well. She has set up her classroom to resemble an art gallery.

The benefits of the U.S. Kids Cover Contest can be seen all around the room.

Mrs. Hardin bought three light tables like this one for her students. She encourages them to do multiple drafts of their work. If they have a draft that they wish to redo and build on, they may use the light table to create a copy, but only of their own work. For instance, Samuel created his Cover Contest entry, and then decided he wanted to improve on the sky. Mrs. Hardin showed him a blending technique; he took his first draft of his art to the light table, copied his earlier work onto a clean sheet of paper, and then applied the new technique to the sky.

To introduce her students to different mediums of art such as weaving, Mrs. Hardin bought small looms and yarn.

The looms

The yarn

In Mrs. Hardin's eyes, inspiration is just as important as wonderful art supplies. She purchased umbrellas covered with the art of famous artists that hang from her classroom ceiling. She hopes to create an environment where her students feel their creativity flow freely.

The money that U.S. Kids has donated to Cedar Bluff Elementary and Mrs. Hardin is certainly being put to good use. The art program, which is allotted $2.18 per student due to budget constraints, is being allowed to flourish.

To Learn more about Griffin and to see his winning artwork, click here.

To Learn more about Samuel and to see his winning artwork, click here.